The WordParty is an open collective of poets and musicians in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since the 90’s we have been hosting a monthly poetry & jazz event where poets read with the spontaneous accompaniment of our live jazz band. Our mission is to provide a space of inclusivity where all styles of people and poetry are welcome, and readers are encouraged to test the avant-garde. At the WordParty there is always laughter, inspiration, and community, and oh yes … we like to get loud.
“How, when, where did it all start? … here’s our history
PianoFight, San Francisco CA
The WordParty – monthly poetry & jazz series
After a brief hiatus, we found our latest home at PianoFight in the fall of 2016. The owners are truly supportive of local artists and seek to grow community. They were looking for a poetry event to add to their line-up and we fit the bill just right! As other events are happening in the back theaters, we take over the front room with full menu, bar and candlelit tables – you can make a whole night out.
Viracocha, San Francisco CA
The WordParty – monthly poetry & jazz event
In the beginning of 2010, local poets gathered to help create a storefront dreamed up by fellow poet and friend Jonathan Siegel named Viracocha in the Mission District of San Francisco. It quickly became the hub for some of the best and brightest talent in the city for literature and music. The Word Party was a permanent fixture at Viracocha every third Tuesday of the month until the space closed its doors in July 2015.
Club Deluxe, San Francisco CA
WordParty Tuesdays with the Nova Jazz Quartet
In 2005, Jennifer fell in-love with Daniel Heffez and decided not to leave her heart in San Francisco, he also happened to also play a mean saxophone with the Nova Jazz Quartet. Ingrid decided to move back to the Bay as well, and together they began the WordParty at Club Deluxe on the famous corner of Haight & Ashbury. It grew so big and wild that it was recognized in an article on the front AND back cover of the SF Chronicle’s Datebook section for its one-year anniversary party. The night went on to often standing room only shows for four years straight. Sadly on the night of the Obama elections, there was a bit of a political tussle and the poets lost their home… again.
Raga, East Village NYC
Reborn as the Word Party
The poets went a few months without a home until they landed downstairs at Raga, an Indian fusion restaurant in the East Village. Although the jazz band was missing, the night had opening musical acts including our favorite local band, Luck Be A Lady and the notorious Buzz Heavy who ended the nights with raucous performances. The poets decided to give the group a new name to reflect the positive and exciting atmosphere — the WordParty was born!
Via della Pace, East Village NYC
The “Brokeland” poets & the Kerry Brown Trio
In Brooklyn, in the early 90’s, a group of high school friends and poets realized they didn’t fit in anywhere. They didn’t belong shouting at the Nuyorican Poets Café, (although they liked to shout, but not always when they read), and they didn’t belong among the stuffy lecture halls of pseudo-intellectuals (even though they were whip smart). In a desperate attempt to create a cheap place to party and be entertained by her talented group of friends, Jennifer began hosting poetry readings in her apartment in Brooklyn. Soon they brought microphones, amps, art installations, a stand-up bass, chocolate fondue — it was out of control! After a few knocks on the door by the police, it was time to move to a real space. They called the group the “Brokeland” poets and eventually landed at Via Della Pace as their first location with the Kerry Brown Trio jazz band.